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How to Write a Philosophy Paper

Writing a philosophy paper may seem like a no big deal. If you know how to do your research, how to outline your essay and structure it, how to write an article title in a paper in the given formatting style, etc., - means you know how to write a philosophy paper properly, doesn't it? Well, yes and no.

It is true that when you write a paper in philosophy, it is just as important to follow the guidelines regarding research, outlining, citing, proofreading, etc., as with any other writing. However, it is equally true that this writing has a few special details of its own about it to keep in mind. This is why being an experienced essay writer does not automatically mean that you know how to write a philosophy paper and make it look like one.

Arguably the best piece of advice on how to write a philosophy paper would be to always keep your reader in mind. Since in most cases your reader will be your professor, their main trait is that they are well-informed on the subject. Another crucial detail lies in understanding that the goal of a philosophy paper is to persuade your reader. This presupposes that your reader has a considerably different view on the problem that you are writing about. So, what do we have? We have a well-informed reader who already has a distinct view on a particular problem, which is different than yours, and your task is to persuade them that your message is right. Realizing this, we get a much clearer understanding of how to write a philosophy paper, what to put there, and what to avoid. Namely:

#1 Long introduction

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Normally, an essay writer likes to introduce the reader to what they are about to read. It is quite useful for most kinds of writing. When your reader first sees your essay, they only know the topic, which is rather vague to know exactly what the essay will be about. So, you go into a long introduction to explain why the topic is interesting to you, what is your background in it, etc. A philosophy paper is not the case, - none of this information is relevant here. The reader of your philosophy paper is already informed about the subject in general, so by introducing them to background you recycle to them the information that they already know.

Therefore, be encouraged to keep your introduction as brief as it gets. In fact, you can consider leaving it out altogether and going directly to the point of your paper.

#2 Abundant quotations

In most kinds of academic writing, you are required or at least welcome to substantiate your ideas with quotes from other authors. A well-placed quote also serves the purpose of making your writing exercise more colorful. However, neither of these purposes is relevant to your cause in a philosophy paper. It is true that the goal of your philosophy paper is to persuade your reader. But it has to be rational persuasion with your own arguments, and not with quotes that your reader knows no worse than you do.

So, instead of overloading your philosophy paper with quotes - direct or indirect, you should better focus on what you have to say on the subject. Besides, keeping quotes to a minimum will save you the effort of thinking how to write an article title in a paper every time.

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#3 Not picking a side

It may be very tempting to stay on the safe side and just present a number of views on a particular issue and state that the brightest minds have been arguing about it for centuries and that the topic is too big for just one humble paper. Such a perspective may present an excellent read, but this is not how to write a philosophy paper.

Once again, there is absolutely no point whatsoever to inform your reader on the background of a particular philosophical issue - they are well-informed already. Even if you genuinely feel like your topic is too big to be covered in your paper, you should still at least try to give out your opinion and persuade your reader that it is right, because this is your essential goal.

#4 Not taking yourself seriously

In other kinds of writing, it may be both appropriate and helpful to fall into a more poetic tone or drop a harmless joke here and there. This serves as an effective way to appeal to your reader emotionally. However, if you allow for something like this in your philosophy paper, this will clearly indicate that you have no idea how to write a philosophy paper.

Many non-experts deem philosophy as something utterly vague. Even if we adopt such an opinion, any "lyrical digressions" make our writing even more abstract. This is a sure way to fail not only to persuade your reader, but even to engage them. This is why it is always best to stay to the point and keep your arguments clear.

#5 Presupposing the truth

The very definition of persuading someone suggests that this person does not share your view on a particular issue. As obvious as it is, an essay writer often makes the mistake of speaking to a like-minded reader. A legit question arises - why would you want to persuade someone who already agrees with you? Aside from being a pointless thing to do in general, it also harms the purpose of your philosophy paper by making your argument vulnerable.

To avoid this, you should try and doubt everything that you write in your philosophy paper before you finalize and submit it.

#6 Not giving your reader credit

We cannot repeat enough how important it is to remember that your reader is well-informed. Therefore, you cannot discard the possible points of view that you disagree with simply by stating that they are wrong or even by attacking some of their elements that you deem particularly weak. This demonstrates that you already have an agenda on the issue, and - hence - renders your paper as biased and non-objective.

So, you need to avoid suggesting your rightness from the very start. This conclusion is for your reader to make.

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